Let's face it: searching for work can be a disheartening, disappointing process. Although the American economy is on an upswing, job seekers still are having difficulty getting hired. After you have been through the tried and true process of submitting a resume and awaiting a response, or getting on what seems to be an endless merry-go-round of interviews, is it perhaps time to try some unconventional methods for securing the job of your dreams (or at the very least, a job that has a paycheck)?
One unusual yet somewhat traditional method involves working as a volunteer at a company first. It's a way to show employers what you are capable of doing. This also involves "working on spec," which means putting your work up front to a prospective employer in the hopes that the employer will compensate you for it. This type of work is free in more than one sense; while you work without compensation to show a prospective employer what you are capable of, you are also free to leave at any time for paying work or other opportunities. These volunteer opportunities can be found via a number of methods: most cities have an online bank of volunteer work for those interested, for instance. However, some volunteers simply show up and offer to pitch in wherever and whenever needed, and go from there to prove their mettle to a hiring boss.
Others prefer to use even more drastic measures. For example, one eager job seeker actually had a billboard erected outside of an employer's office, touting their virtues. (It worked.) Another job seeker crafted her resume to read like an invitation to hire her, instead of a plea to get hired. (It worked.)
Who does not like cupcakes? One culinary hopeful who wanted to be hired by a catering company decided to show what he was capable of by leaving a delicious resume: a chocolate cupcake! The caterer was impressed and hired him.
Some job seekers are so hungry to land a position, they will actually compensate others to land a deal. Some candidates are offering up to $25,000 for a referral that results in full-time work.
Using social media for just about everything these days is the norm. It is funny to think that face-to-face conversation could be an unusual means of landing a job, but when you consider that the conversation took place at 35,000 feet above the earth, things have taken a turn for the unusual! A casual conversation for Eric Picard* (*not his real name) aboard a US Airways flight in 2014 turned into a big opportunity to head up the technology division for an up-and-coming Arizona company. Just a regular conversation over drinks and pretzels became a way for Picard to sell his skills to his new friends in rows 1 and 2, and for him to get a feel for the type of company they were planning. By the time the plane touched down in Phoenix, the men were shaking hands and making plans.